During National Farmers Market Week farmers markets across Virginia will count their visitors. VAFMA will sum up the counts and publish the total.
Having a statewide count will give us all a better understanding of how many people Virginia’s farmers markets serve. Currently, there aren’t any statewide estimates of customers attending farmers markets. We chose Farmers Market Week to help everyone remember to participate.
Visitor counts are an easy way to get started in data collection.
How Visitor Count Week Got Started
Over the last decade, the Farmers Market Coalition has been building resources to help market operators and market partners trumpet the impacts made at the almost 9,000 locations across the U.S. Using the annual CSA signup day as inspiration, FMC introduced the idea of National Counting Week (NCW) to its networks where markets would count their attendance, and also undertake other counts on the same week of the year across the U.S.
National Farmers Market Week, held annually during the first full week of August, was chosen as the date of NCW, both to promote the active role that market operators undertake for their community, and to allow for data on that year’s NFMW attendance to be shared with market stakeholders such as the USDA.
In 2019, the Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA) is holding the inaugural Visitor Count Week, highlighting the data-driven mindset of farmers market operators, encouraging volunteerism, and resulting in simple graphic-friendly numbers that are useful to a wide number of stakeholders to show the diverse effects of markets.